Arjan Singh was one of the most iconic figure of India. Born at Lyalpur now known as Faisalabad in undivided Punjab, he contributed a lot in the modernization of Indian Air Force. A war veteran, he was recipient of numerous gallantry award. He was the first and only officer to be promoted to five-star rank as Marshal of the Indian Air Force.
Arjan Singh was born on 15 April 1919 in Lyallpur, Punjab (now Faisalabad, Pakistan) to a family of soldiers. Keeping the tradition of his family, he too opted to serve the nation in uniform. He entered the RAF College Cranwell in 1938 at the age of 19 and was commissioned as a pilot officer the following year. A World War II hero, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for "fearless and exceptional" service in 1944. One of the earliest pilots of nascent Indian Air Force Singh had the honor of leading the fly-past of more than a hundred IAF aircraft over the Red Fort on India’s first Independence Day, August 15, 1947.
Singh served as the IAF's Chief of Staff during the 1965 India-Pakistan war. Under his leadership Indian Air Force made deep-penetration attacks against enemy targets in Peshawar and Mauripur. Pakistan not only list its aircraft but also many fronts. For his meritorious services during the 1965 Indo-Pak War, Singh was honoured with the Padma Vibhushan.
Honors and Awards
Arjan Singh during his long illustrious career won numerous awards for his services to the nation.
General Service Medal 1947
Samar Seva Star
Sainya Seva Medal
Indian Independence Medal
Distinguished Flying Cross
War Medal 1939–1945
India Service Medal
He continued to serve the country in various capacities even after retirement in July 1969. Singh served the nation as an ambassador to Switzerland in 1971, and as High Commissioner to Kenya in 1974. Later, he also became the Lt Governor of Delhi, in 1989.
In a rare honor Singh was promoted to the five-star rank in 2002. In 2016, the IAF named its Panagarh (West Bengal) air base after Arjan Singh on the occasion of his 97th birth anniversary.
Illness and Death
Admitted to Army’s Research and Referral Hospital following a cardiac arrest, he passed away on Saturday evening. He was 98.
People from all walks of life condoled the passing away of Marshal of Indian Air Force Arjan Singh.
President of India: Sad at demise of a great air warrior & Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh. Condolences to his family & IAF community 1/2 #PresidentKovind
Marshal of the IAF Arjan Singh was a WW II hero & won our nation's gratitude for his military leadership in 1965 war 2/2 #PresidentKovind
Narendra Modi: India mourns the unfortunate demise of Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh. We remember his outstanding service to the nation.
India will never forget the excellent leadership of Marshal of the IAF Arjan Singh in 1965, when the IAF saw substantial action.
My thoughts are with his family & those mourning the demise of a distinguished air warrior & fine human, Marshal of the IAF Arjan Singh. RIP
Mamata Banerjee: Saddened at the passing of Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh. One of India's greatest of all time. Condolences to his family & IAF family
Congress: We pay our deepest respects to Marshall of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh, who passed away today.
Indian Air Force: A great loss for the Nation & the #IndianAirForce : Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh passes away at R&R Army Hospital, New Delhi. Today
(FOLLOWER OF Air Marshal ARJAN SINGH)
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